During recent interviews for Phase 2 of our Content & Credibility Study, we have been asking people what web content they find credible and why. As part of that process, I have observed many people’s opinions of search results listings and what makes a result click-worthy. It’s made me think about the importance of a certain content element – the meta description. During our testing, I’ve seen just how important this information is in the decision-making process as users scan search results.
What Is a Meta Description?
The all-important search results listing, or “snippet” in Google speak, is made up of roughly 155 characters of descriptive text that tells users what content is on a page and how it meets their search query. The information displayed in the results listing is created to best match the user’s search terms and can be pulled from a variety of sources, including the meta description. (Other sources could be the Open Directory Project or content from the page itself.) Here's an example of a search result for Content Science. The meta description is displayed under the URL and file format information. Read More >